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ALERT! Red State Governors Push DeVos Privatization Agenda As They Celebrate “School Choice Week”

Wake up! The Republican Party wants to destroy OUR democratic public schools and steal OUR money that funds those schools.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Betsy DeVos made the goal of school choice clear: Shift public dollars away from public schools and transfer them to privately managed charter schools, online schools, for-profit schools, home schools, and vouchers for religious schools. She never supported public schools. Her actions emboldened her followers in Red States to make a full frontal attack on public education. Please share this information on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media. Alert your friends and colleagues. The attack on public education rolls on, despite the overwhelming evidence that charter schools do not get better results than public schools unless they cherrypick their students, and voucher schools get worse results, while most avoid accountability and transparency.

The Red State governors want to fund failure, instead of adequately and equitably funding their most important responsibility: the public schools.

In this article, Carol Burris–with research assistance of Anthony Cody and Marla Kilfoyle–of the Network for Public…

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Posted by on January 29, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

Sweden and the Damage Done by Free-Market Reforms

For the free-market system of K-12 education, profits count more than education and students.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Larry Cuban turned his blog over to retired Swedish teacher Sara Hjelm, a reader of his blog, who took the opportunity to warn American readers about the dangers of the free-market reforms adopted in Sweden.

Sweden adopted the “reforms” in 1992, allowing families to choose any school, public or private, and send their child there with his/her taxpayer dollars. It is the “backpack full of cash” theory behind the demand for school choice, as advocated here by Betsy DeVos and Jeanne Allen of the Center for Education Reform. The voucher system has led to a growing industry of private, for-profit schools, called “free schools.” Two of the companies that run “free schools” are listed on the stock exchange. They are comparable to our charter schools.

Hjelm writes:

The huge private for profit school companies exist on all these levels, competing for student vouchers. Largest part is in the upper secondary…

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Posted by on January 9, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

The American Prospect: Proposals for Biden’s Day One Progressive Agenda

Will President Biden do anything to fix the public education mess started by President Reagan’s lies in his “A Nation at Risk” Report, and continued with Bush #1, Clinton, Bush #2, Obama, and Trump?

The United States once had a public education system that was the envy of the world. Even China sent people to study our K-12 public education system to learn how to improve public education in China. But that was before Bush #2 declared total war on K through college public education that every president since has continued.

It’s time to rebuild America’s public education system from Kindergarten on up.

First, President Biden must support teachers’ unions and put teachers in charge of decisions in the classrooms just like Finland does.

Diane Ravitch's blog

The American Prospect has advice for Joe Biden about how he can make dramatic changes on Day One.

Pick your topic: Corporate taxes, the War on Terror, student debt.

Everything is here except for what he can do on Day One to help American education. He can end the Reign of Error of NCLB, Race to the Top, Every Student Succeeds Act, and Common Core. On Day One, he could waive all federal testing mandates for 2021. That would be a start.

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Posted by on January 4, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

Dr. Leslie T. Fenwick for Secretary of Education

Here is the person that should be the next Secretary of Education. She knows how to clean up the mess left behind by Betsy the Brutal-Beast DeVos and Traitor and Serial Liar Donald Trump.

Diane Ravitch's blog

President-Elect Joe Biden will soon announce his choice for Secretary of Education. He promised to choose a person with experience as a teacher. He said he wants a Secretary who is committed to public education. Here is my choice.

I can’t think of anyone better qualified to be Secretary of Education than Dr. Leslie T. Fenwick, other than Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond, who is chair of the Biden education transition team and has taken herself out of the running.


Dr. Leslie T. Fenwick is Dean Emeritus of the School of Education at Howard University.


She has been a teacher, a teacher educator, a scholar, and a dean. She taught middle school science in Toledo, her hometown.


She understands the most important needs of American education: adequate and equitable funding; experienced teachers; and a commitment to equity and inclusion.


I have watched her lectures online, and I was blown away by her wisdom…

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Posted by on December 21, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

Bob Shepherd: The Standardized Testing Hoax

The High Stakes Test con game: Nothing that students do on (profitable) high stakes tests even remotely resembles what real readers and writers do with real texts in the real world.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Bob Shepherd, a frequent commenter here, has been a curriculum writer, as assessment developer, a publisher, and a classroom tea her. As frequent readers of this log know, he is also a polymath, with a broad, nearly encyclopedic range of knowledge.

In this essential post, he explains why standardized testing is invalid and useless for accountability purposes.
They do not measure what they claim to measure.

Here is a brief excerpt from a brilliant explanation:

Nothing that students do on these exams even remotely resembles what real readers and writers do with real texts in the real world. Ipso facto, the tests cannot be valid tests of actual reading and writing. People read for one of two reasons—to find out what an author thinks or knows about a subject or to have an interesting, engaging, significant vicarious experience. The tests, and the curricula based on them, don’t help students to do…

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Posted by on December 4, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

President-Elect Biden: Keep Your Promises!

President-Elect Biden MUST keep all of his campaign promises about public education?

Diane Ravitch's blog

During the campaign, Joe Biden made clear commitments to support community public schools. He promised transparency and accountability for privately managed charter schools, as well as a ban on federal funding for charters operated for profit. He also unequivocally took a stand against standardized testing in a public meeting with hundreds of educators in Pittsburgh. NPE board member Denisha Jones asked him at that time if he would commit to ending standardized testing in the schools. He unequivocally said yes.

The Network for Public Education, joined by dozens of other groups, calls on President-Elect Biden to keep his promises.

To add your group’s name, contact NPE.
https://networkforpubliceducation.org/about-npe/

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Posted by on November 22, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

Los Angeles: Support Scott!!

Diane Ravitch's blog

The charter industry and the billionaires want to replace Scott Schmerelson with a charter employee. They want to buy control of the LAUSD school board.

Don’t let them! Stand with Scott, a veteran educator and a champion of public schools.

Tell the billionaires that the public schools of Los Angeles are not for sale!

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Posted by on October 23, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

Calling Joe Biden: You Promised to Cut Back Federal Testing Mandates, Remember?

“Let’s help elect Joe Biden, then make sure, relentlessly, that he keeps the promises he made to the students and educators of America.”

Diane Ravitch's blog

Joe Biden needs to have a talk with his policy director Stef Feldman. During the campaign, Biden made specific commitments to reduce the mandates for standardized testing and to reduce the stakes attached to testing. But Stef Feldman met with the Education Writers Association and she didn’t seem to know anything about what Biden had repeatedly said about the misuse and overuse of standardized testing. She said the question should be left to the transition team and the new administration. What?

Feldman refused to commit to granting waivers to the states to bypass the federal mandate for annual testing in spring 2021. DeVos granted waivers in 2020 after almost every school closed down due to the pandemic but said she would not do it again in spring 2021 (hopefully by then she will be back in one of her mansions or on one of her yachts).

It is now late…

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Posted by on October 23, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

A Medical Scientist Speaks Out About Children and COVID

Diane Ravitch's blog

A reader who is a scientist wrote to ask why I posted the views of an economist about children and COVID instead of those of a medical researcher. She sent me this interview of Angela Rasmussen that appeared in Science Friday. Rasmussen is a professor at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

In the interview, she says:

ANGELA RASMUSSEN: Well, teachers and parents should definitely not think that children are immune or more resistant to the virus. Just because they don’t develop a severe of disease [sic], that doesn’t mean that they can’t be infected and it doesn’t mean that they can’t bring the virus home with them to transmit to other people in their household. It also doesn’t mean that they would be incapable of transmitting it to faculty and staff in schools.

And in general, we– I think a lot of the discussion about schools has…

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Posted by on October 12, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

A Study of Charter Schools and Special Education

Reputable studies repeatedly find the same results, that publicly funded, private sector charter schools cherry-pick students, discriminate, and are worse or no better than OUR public schools. Private sector charter schools are robbing OUT public schools of funds. This must be stopped!!

Diane Ravitch's blog

The National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education has released a study of charter schools and special education by doctoral candidate Katherine Parham at Teachers College, Columbia University.

From the dawn of the charter movement, the subject of charter schools and special education has generated significant controversy.

Albert Shanker cautioned in a Washington Post op-ed in 1994 that the freedom from state and local regulations sought for charter schools would mean control over admissions and thus exclusion of “difficult-to-educate students.” A decade later, Martin Carnoy and his co-authors documented in The Charter School Dust-Up: Examining the Evidence on Enrollment and Achievement (2005) that high-achieving charter middle schools enrolled far more students with strong academic records than neighboring public schools as well as far fewer English-language learners and students with special needs. Similarly, Gary Miron and his co-authors documented in a 2011 study of a major charter management organization…

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Posted by on September 3, 2020 in Uncategorized